Educational outcomes of small group discussion versus traditional lecture among first year undergraduate medical students

Suhasini Padugupati, K.P Joshi, D. Yamini, R.S Swaroopa Chary, D.V. H.S Sarma


Lecture though is effective method of teaching, it is considered as a passive means in imparting knowledge. It’s time to change this means with innovative methods like small group teaching, etc.
The study was carried out with first year 140 MBBS students. These students were randomly selected and were divided in to two groups of A and B of strength seventy in each group. Lipid chemistry and metabolism was the topic selected. Pre-test for A and B group by multiple choice questions was conducted. Group B was further divided into ten sub groups, and these students were provided with specific learning objectives for the topic and after a week they were taught the topic in the form of small group discussion sessions over a period of 4 weeks. The facilitators ensured that all the group B participants were involved in the discussion. The group A remained as a whole group and underwent the didactic lecture method. Later, post test was conducted with the same MCQs. To evaluate the students perception towards the SGD for group B, we administered a qualitative questionnaire.
There was a significant improvement with post SGD group, when compared with post Lecture group. The perception of students was positive regarding small group teaching.
Introduction of small group teaching as a learning tool was appreciated by the students and led to a significant improvement in the student’s performance.

Keywords: SGD-small group discussions, DL-didactic lectures, MCQs- multiple choice questions

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